The African National Congress (ANC) has all but conceded early defeat in the Cape Town metro where the Democratic Alliance (DA) is looking at a landslide victory.
By 11am the DA was looking at an outright majority‚ with 69% of the vote‚ and 58% of the votes counted. In 2011‚ the DA got 60% of the vote and the ANC 32.8%.
“We knew we were going to have a serious challenge‚ but we couldn’t demoralise our forces‚ hence I had to be very strong‚” said ANC mayoral candidate Xolani Sotashe.
“This is a party that has been in power in Cape Town for the last 10 years‚” he said.
“But‚ we are very clear. This is democracy. We said from the beginning whatever outcomes we will accept. If ANC loses I will actually extend a hand to Patricia de Lille and congratulate her.”
Sotashe said the ANC had defended its base “very well” and had reclaimed wards won by the DA in 2011.
He said the DA had come to the election “very positive”‚ but accused it of using “state machinery” to make sure it made inroads in historically disadvantaged areas.
Meanwhile‚ Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said the results so far were humbling and a vindication.
“I am very humbled by the trust and the confidence that the people of the City of Cape Town have bestowed on me
“I think we’ve been vindicated — there have been a lot of detractors and thumb suck information; ‘Cape Town is the most unequal city’ and all of those kind of things.”
She offered some “free advice” to the ANC‚ and her rival Sotashe.
“You cannot run an election on the same strategy year after year‚ every five years without a plan. Yes‚ the issue of race is important‚ but it is not the only issue when you deal with local government elections. So‚ you know‚ they sound like stuck records‚” said De Lille.
She said for five years she had been debating with the ANC “and they say: ‘ah‚ the tale of two cities‚ you don’t care about black people’. And I just knew. “
“It’s so sweet‚ vindication. Try and get another strategy that looks at issues. Local government is about issues and I think they have learnt the hard way.”